With laws varying state to state regarding the rights of LGBT Americans, particularly with regards to their finances in the case of marriage and domestic partnerships, financial firms are actively working to create LGBT-friendly initiatives that make financial planning more manageable.
More after the jump.
According to CNN, "A growing number of financial planning firms, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, UBS, and Marcum LLP, are launching divisions that focus solely on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (or LGBT) clients or helping their advisors get certified to handle the unique financial issues same-sex couples faces."
Same-sex couples face complex financial issues that heterosexual couples simply don't, at least as things stand now under the Defense of Marriage Act where same-sex marriages aren't recognized on a federal level.
As such, even legally married same-sex couples miss out on social security benefits, jointly filed tax breaks, and are subject to estate taxes in the event of a partner's passing.
More and more financial planning firms are taking note of this and as such are training their advisors to meet our needs.
(We're using the royal "our" here because, we're far from married...or partnered...or coupled...or regularly dating. Sorry.)
Kyle Young, vice president-investment officer at Wells Fargo Advisors tells CNN, "There's a real business opportunity here. We're providing a much-needed resource and at the same time, it's a very clear business decision. And the demand for the kind of resources we provide is just going to grow going forward."
Ryan Svatora, senior wealth strategy associate at Zinn, Ray & Svatora Group, an LGBT-dedicated practice at UBS agrees: "The demand for specialized financial services has increased as more states pass laws that recognize same-sex marriage. As this social progress continues, it can lead to further complications as the rights bestowed to same-sex couples differ on state and federal levels."
If we had any sort of aptitude for money (or math) we'd totally go into LGBT-financial planning. There certainly seems to be a market for it.
Is it weird that we get a kick out of all of these companies recognizing our value as consumers?